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Tom Bottern
State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 825 - Agricultural Utilization Research Institute
Author: Senator Bill Weber
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Date: February 20, 2017


Section 1 [Entrepreneurs eligible] eliminates the requirement that only Minnesota entrepreneurs are eligible for assistance from AURI.  The projects will continue to be required to benefit Minnesota’s agricultural commodities and products.

Section 2 [AURI Board of Directors] expands the AURI board to include two at-large representatives.

Section 3 [Research grants to other organizations] removes language for AURI on the duty to provide research grants to other organizations.  AURI will continue to be able to make grants to other organizations under Minnesota Statutes, section 116Y.01, subdivision 5, but it will not be listed as a duty.

Section 4 [AURI staff] provides that the AURI Board of Directors will hire AURI’s executive director, but will not need to vote on all staff hired.

Section 5 [AURI bylaws] provides for publishing AURI’s bylaws on their Web site rather than in the State Register.

Section 6 [Meetings] clarifies that the AURI board will be able to conduct meetings by telephone or other electronic means under existing provisions related to state boards and other agencies, commissions, or departments.

Section 7 [Conflict of interest] provides that an AURI director, employee, or officer may not advocate for or vote on a decision where the person has a conflict of interest.  Current law prohibits participation and voting in these decisions.  This section also adds clarifying language on the employees and officers conflicts.

Section 8 [Funds] increases the amount of expenditures that must be approved by the AURI board to $50,000 from $25,000.  This section also provides the board approval requirement for receipts over $50,000 and removes language on placing nonstate source money received into depositories.

Section 9 [Audits] removes the requirement for an annual audit of AURI by the Legislative Auditor and replaces it with an annual financial audit by an independent auditor.  The Legislative Auditor will continue to audit AURI, based on the auditor’s schedule for auditing.  It also requires that the annual audit be filed with the Office of Attorney General, Charities Division, rather than with the Secretary of State.



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